On this day in 1986, Darren Byrd was born in Pensacola, Florida. He was 18 years old when the Phillies selected him in the 18th round of the 2005 draft, and made his pro debut later that same year.
Byrd spent five seasons in the lower levels of the Philadelphia organization, repeating high A in 2008 and 2009 before being released and opening the 2010 season with Fargo-Moorhead of the independent Northern League. His four appearances there must have been enough to impress someone, because the Brewers signed Byrd and assigned him to Brevard County.
2011 was Byrd's first full year as a reliever and it might have been his best pro season: He made 41 appearances for Huntsville (the first time he's reached AA) and posted a 2.95 ERA in 64 innings. He still walks too many batters (4.5 per nine innings), but this was only his age 24 season so there's still time for him to figure things out.
Byrd turns 25 today. With help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd also like to wish a happy birthday today to 2002 Brewer Mike Matthews. He turns 38.